CELTA Course: Week 7

[Missed the first half? Catch up here: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6]

Monday: Observing S and A teach 45 minutes each to the upper-intermediate class. S’s lesson was well-paced, and though some of her feedback was rushed it was a really good lesson and she deserved the “above standard” that Bobby awarded her. A’s lesson was decent; he obviously tried really hard to learn the grammar he was teaching (1st, 2nd, and 3rd conditionals) and that showed.

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Tuesday: Spent the first hour observing “real teacher” Dan teach an intermediate lesson. He was tough and clearly had high expectations for his students, which I liked. The class had clearly not studied the night before — and this seemed to be a trend — so Dan spent the first 20 minutes of his lesson trying to get the students to understand the usefulness of studying lexis in context in order to better remember it.

After observation, Ben led a session on teaching writing skills. Obviously I liked this. We won’t have too much opportunity to teach writing during the CELTA course, but the session was useful for the writing we will teach and also for our future English-teaching lives (if we ever teach a writing-specific course). Ben emphasized the importance of having a clear writing task for students, along with telling them their audience/reader and genre of the writing they’ll do. A good session.

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ThursdayD, S, and I, finished with the upper-intermediates, switched over to observe the pre-intermediate class that we’ll begin teaching on Monday. We watched N and B — two of our colleagues/classmates from the other teaching practice group — each teach 45 minutes. The lessons themselves were nice; N had great rapport with the class and clearly understood what she was teaching. I wasn’t as big a fan of B’s style, but his lesson was good and he had a nice free practice activity at the end. Ben runs feedback sessions much differently from Bobby; he talked about a few general points (boarding lexis, reformulation, etc) before going into person-specific feedback. It’ll be interesting to work with him for our last four lessons.

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SaturdayTwo short and useful sessions on connected speech (how word combinations sound/change sounds when native speakers speak at a regular to fast pace) and free practice activities (ideas for how to set them up and focus them on the target language). Then Bobby held individual tutorial sessions with each of us — just a quick, 10-minute chat about how we’re doing halfway through the course. We had to assess ourselves, then Bobby assessed us for the same criteria. He and I agreed that my work — teaching — is above standard so far. Main points for me to work on as the course progresses are: including collocations when I teach lexis; incorporating more pronunciation work into lexis and grammar teaching; and making sure I do thorough language and content feedback/correction after freer practice activities. All doable.

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Week 8 is next!

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